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£160k research into Covid-19 impact on Birmingham’s Muslim communities

26th Feb 2021

Home Affairs Correspondent

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Birmingham’s Muslim communities and the community-led responses to it will be explored in new research by social scientists at Birmingham City University.

Academics Dr Damian Breen and Professor Imran Awan will research the effects of Covid-19 on Birmingham’s minority ethnic Muslim communities, particularly those of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian and Black British backgrounds, whilst also researching the role of mosques and other community organisations in facilitating religious rituals and practices, such as deaths and burials.

The Economic and Social Research Council is set to fund the bulk (£130,000) of the study.

The funding will aid researchers in developing toolkits for use across minority ethnic communities in Britain to provide strategies for responding to community needs in times of crisis.

Breen, a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University’s School of Social Sciences, explained, “We’ll be examining how community organisations have provided support and offered interventions around impacts specific to Muslim communities within the context of Covid-19.”

He added, “We’ll also be speaking to Muslim communities to explore perceptions around state responses, including access to healthcare during the pandemic and national strategies around vaccination.”

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, added, “We cannot ignore the social, cultural and economic factors that have shaped the experiences of BAME communities throughout the pandemic.

Emerging evidence suggests that people from BAME backgrounds have experienced the hardest economic shocks. It’s crucial that we understand the depth and breadth of the impacts of these factors so that we can take action to alleviate the consequences for these communities.”

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The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

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